Ebony Glass

EGlass, Inc. - CEO and Designer
Brockton, MA
http://www.ebonyglass.com

This blog chronicles my close encounters with fashion. From attending fashion shows and interviewing designers, while also someday launching my own clothing line, I will talk about triumphs, defeats, and how I keep smiling through all of it...stylishly of course!

  • "I am woman, hear me whisper"

    November 8, 2011

    "I believe that everything happens for a reason.  People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."

    ~ Marilyn Monroe

    I wasn't sure where to begin with this blog post given that it's been so long since I last posted, but I got inspired this morning by a Dr's appt of all things and thought it was best I start there.  I know I usually talk about my quest to start my own clothing line and while this post may still tie that in somehow, I figured I make this post a little more personal and hopefully someone out there can relate in regards to my life for the past seven months.

    My last post was four days before I found out that I was a Type II Diabetic.  I had been prediabetic for a few years and while I wasn't enjoying that status, I was hoping to either stay in that role for as long as possible or possibly reverse it completely.  But given my genetics, my body couldn't fight the inevitable on its own.  So there I sat in my Dr's office in tears after hearing her tell me that I'm offically a Diabetic and would now not only be on medicine, but could possibly be on it for the rest of my life.  She let me have my pity party for one for a litte bit before she began to tell me what my plan of action should be.  The same effort and energy I put into making sure my boys were healthy, would now have to be shifted to me.

    Dieting was not an option.  If I was going to control my diabetes, it would have to be a lifestyle change.  The word can't could no longer be a part of my vocabulary.  It's not that I can't have sugar, I can only have it in limited quantities and have to be mindful of when I have it. It's not that I can't find time to exercise, I can make time to exercise or the diabetes will find time to take over my body.  The only person who could help me set realistic goals and find ways to achieve them was me.  I think that was the hardest part.  Learning to put me first and sticking to the plan that I came up with.  It's second nature for me to put myself last, but in doing that, I'm no good to anyone and that's not an option for me.

    So I shifted my focus from beating myself up about what I was and wasn't doing when it came to fashion and instead focused on what I was and wasn't doing to become healthy.  Oddly enough, learning not to beat myself up when I made a mistake when it came to my diabetes, made me realize how hard I was on myself in other areas of my life.  The saying that "things happen for a reason" started to make sense to me instead of annoy me.  Instead of staying in the belief of woe is me, I started believing that in order for me to achieve certain things in my life, I need to be fit both mentally and physically.  Watching what I eat and making sure I fit in exercise has made me realize the importance of me.

    I'm important.  Taking care of my boys, working, paying bills, etc, are important, but so am I.  I think a lot of Moms forget that and sometimes life finds a way of reminding you.  My reminder came in the form of diabetes, but it can come in other forms as well.  While becoming a diabetic hasn't been a walk in the park, the milestones I've reached along the way, have made it a little bit easier.  Losing 20lbs and keeping it off has been something that I have learned to pat myself on the back for.  Lowering my A1C levels within a normal range was something that made me high-five my Dr. this morning.

    So while I still hope to achieve milestones when it comes to fashion, I'm learning to applaud myself for other things that I've achieved.  I'm learning to pat myself on the back more often and dust myself off when I struggle.  I'm realizing that when bad things happen, it's not because life had nothing better to do and decided to rain on my parade.  Maybe it's because something good is waiting around the corner, but I won't know how to appreciate it without tackling an obstacle or two. 

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish and healthy step at a time)

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  • April Showers Brings One Beautiful May Flower

    May 13, 2011

    "And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

    ~ Anais Nin

    While I like to think that I possess many talents, sadly, having a green thumb hasn't been one of them. So when I purchased my home back in 2009 and saw that it had no flowers for me to destroy, I was elated. That was until I saw other houses like mine with beautiful flowers and saw how much curb appeal it added. So last year I set out on a quest to start adding some appeal to my curb.

    Given the fact that I knew my track record with flowers, I decided to start in my backyard first, that way only I and my boys would know my triumphant victory of usual defeat. I found a section in my yard that seemed to just be calling for a flower bed and began taking up weeds, turning the soil and carefully planting the tulip seeds I had chosen. I stepped back, wished my seeds good luck and turned my sights on other parts of the yard.

    Fast forward to most recently when I decided it definitely was not going to snow again and it was time for me to start fixing the yard up for spring. In the process of picking up broken branches and removing leaves that never truly seem to go away, something bright caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. At first I thought something had blown into my flower bed, but as I got closer, I was greeted with the most beautiful sight ever. There stood two beautiful tulips peaking out from the ground. Given the horrible winter we've had, I had forgotten that I had even planted seeds the year before. But there was my proof right in front of me in the most vibrant color imaginable.

    After I remembered that I have neighbors that can see me in my own yard, I stopped doing my happy dance and decided to have my boys share in the excitement. I was a little surprised that they didn't feel the need to break out into the running man like I did, but it was still a nice moment. I was able to use that tulip as a lesson in how sometimes beautiful things take longer to appear, but once they do, it's well worth the wait.

    That tulip also taught me a lesson. I tend to be impatient sometimes. I want results now or I'm a little bothered. I've learned to pick and choose my most impatient moments, but it's still a work in progress. But seeing that flower that day really made me stop and think. How many things have I passed up because I thought they would take too long or that the effort I put into it wasn't worth the result? How many times have I tried to take the easy route only to get sub par results, when taking a more involved approach, while time-consuming, would have benefited me far more? How many beautiful moments have I let slip away?

    So as I sit in my sunroom/sewing room and find myself at a loss for how I'm going to start actually doing fashion instead of just talking about it, I look out my window at the tulip and cut myself some slack. There is no easy way to do what I want to do and that has caused me to be in a paralyzed state both creatively and productively. For some reason I've held myself to a standard that unless it's the best of me, I don't want to put anything out there. But in thinking that way, I've allowed myself to stay safe and only dream of my possibilities instead of living them.

    So instead of waiting for everything to fall into place, I'm going to actually sew something. If it takes me longer than usual because I'm still working 40 hours a week, a Mom 24/7, a friend, a sister and a daughter, then so be it. The finished product will be well worth it because I will have not given up or tossed it aside because it didn't give me immediate satisfaction. And if one week I'm drawing things left and right and the next week I barely crack open my drawing book, then that's okay too. But to not start anything at all, is far more alarming and a pattern I need to break.

    So in taking a cue from my tulips, I will remember that there are beautiful things worth waiting for. There are things in life that will take longer than you want them to, but will be worth the wait. There will be moments where you want to give up because you feel like you have nothing left to give. But for each of those moments, there will also be times where things seem to fall into place, opportunities banging at your door, and the sweet smell of success is tucked away in a small part of your yard greeting you every time you look out your window.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony

    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • "Tis the season to be....me"

    December 20, 2010

    All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was.  I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory.  I was naive.  I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.  It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with:  that I am nobody but myself.

    ~Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal"

    While I love various holidays for various different reasons, I must admit that Christmas is my favorite.  I love that it bring friends and family together to share joyous moments, but I think I'm more drawn to the creativeness that it brings out in people.  People who could care less about the latest designer trend, all of a sudden find themselves designing how their house will look once fully lit up with thousands of lights.  They're out at the stores buying inflatable Santa's and snowmen to put on their front lawn without a second thought to whether or not they're going over the top.  I both appreciate and applaud these people since it enables me to keep the tradition that my Mother started when we were younger. 

    Every Christmas, she would pick a day that we would all pile into the car and drive around and grade every one's works of arts.  She didn't care how long we were in the car or how far we had to go.  She loved seeing our faces light up when we would see the granddaddy of all houses lit up and would only repeat the word "wow" over and over. It was the simplest gift she gave to us and without knowing it, it was the simplest gift we were giving her.  We were giving her the gift of revisiting her own childhood wonder of Christmas.  It was something that couldn't be wrapped up in pretty paper with a nice shiny bow on it, but it was appreciated just as much as if it were.

    With the new year fast approaching, I, like many other people, have felt the daunting task of figuring out what my New Year's resolutions would be along with trying to find that perfect gift for people on my list.  One year, I had myself and my boys write down what our goals were and then we would open them up the next year to see what we actually accomplished.  It was great to see what goals two young boys had and shocking how grown up some of their resolutions were.  But this year, I'm less inclined to write down what my resolutions are.  I think I've come to a point where instead of saying what I will or will not do in 2011, I would rather just live in 2011.  I would rather find a way to keep that feeling of excitement and wonder in me all throughout the year and not just dust it off and bring it out during Christmas.

    Between all the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season, I want to take time to remember how it feels to see snow for the first time and actually enjoy the beauty of it instead of dreading how slippery it's going to be.  Instead of seeing a long line and getting frustrated, I will practice the art of patience and maybe even throw on a smile while I'm waiting.  Instead of rushing here and there so I can get as many things done in one day, I'll take my time and enjoy the moments I have in the car with my boys where they seem to say the funniest things some times. 

    But the most important thing I will do is to love being me.  I'll love the way I can turn down sweets at work and then find myself rummaging through my cabinets once I get home.  I'll love the way that I laugh at myself when I trip over myself sometimes and can't figure out how I managed to do so.  I'll love the way I'll miss my boys while at work and then have to play referee once I pick them up and then start all over the next day.  I'll love that I have a ton of ideas but sometimes get sidetracked easily and wind up accomplishing only to just move things around from one place to another.  I'll love that a good day for me involves being curled up on the couch watching Matlock or Murder She Wrote.  I'll love that some days my hair does what I want it to do and other days it looks like it has a mind of its own. 

    While some of these things may not be appreciated by others, it's who I am and what makes me unique.  So my gift to myself is to go easy on me.  If I decide to do something one day and change my mind the next day, I'm entitled.  That's the great thing of being a work in progress.  You can find out what works and what doesn't and make adjustments along the way.  So in the spirit of giving, I'm giving myself the memories of what it feels like to not put boundaries on myself and just live life.  The gift that keeps on giving all throughout the year.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • My Life: Present Day, Take: too many to count...ACTION!

    July 22, 2010

    "I always wanted a happy ending... Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity!."


    ~ Gilda Radner

    So, after shaking my head a few times after noticing the last time I updated my blog, I decided to cut myself some slack given that I've been just a tad bit busy...and it makes it easier for me to just jump into this post without wasting time being disappointed at myself.

    Everyday, I send out motivational quotes and in doing so, I come across some that inspire me to either act, think or take a moment to reflect on where I am, where I want to be, and how i plan on getting there.  I've had this quote for quite some time, but felt it would be a great way to start this post given all the recent changes in my life. 

    To know me is to know that I tend to put a lot on my plate.  I have a hard time saying no, even if I know it means me losing out on what little bit of sleep I already tend to not get.  I love helping out, especially if it involves anything creative.  The problem is that in order for me to be creative for someone else, it almost always takes away from me being creative for me.  Why?  Because I give so much of my creative energy to whatever project I'm helping out on, that I push aside my own creative needs since I would be all over the place if I didn't.  I never thought it was a problem until I recently got sick and couldn't shake it.  I had a horrible cough that seemed to get worse even after I was prescribed medication.  I kept pushing myself because I felt that if people thought I didn't want it bad enough, they would write me off as just someone trying to make it.  The problem is that what I thought in my mind and how my body felt were out of sync. 

    It all came to a halt at a fashion show of all places.  I hadn't been feeling well and against the advice of those who could care less about what shows I did or not attend, I forced myself to put on a smile and get dolled up for the camera.  The people dressing me commented at how pale I looked (I just added more blush), how I felt feverish (I just put a cold facecloth on my face) and how tired I looked (MAC concealer works wonders).  I rushed out and headed to the venue thinking that the way I looked outside would help me to feel better inside.  It all started out fine until I started coughing and couldn't stop (sorry to the poor woman sitting next to me who sat through my coughing fit before kindly moving during intermission).  My cough was so bad, I was almost in tears.

    So for once, I did what I always have a hard time doing, I said I just couldn't do it.  I gave my apologies and left.  I walked back to my car still coughing and in tears because even though I knew I did what was best for me at the time, I still felt like I was letting people down.  The drive home felt like the longest ride ever, but seeing my house and knowing I was that much closer to being able to lie in bed, made me happy.  It took me about another month of just resting and taking it easy for me to finally get over the cough. 

    I took a hiatus from everything and tried to slow down as much as possible.  That didn't last too long since I can't keep still and the thought of not doing anything creative is like a death sentence to me.  But instead of diving back into everything that I was doing before, I took time to really figure out what I wanted so bad that I was willing to let my body suffer for it.  The underlying theme in everything that I was doing, was my love for fashion.  I love fashion.  I always have and for some reason, it's the one thing I tend to avoid when it comes to doing it myself.  I talk a good game, but always tend to let myself get sidetracked when it comes to me focusing on me doing fashion.

    So after taking the time to think and realizing what I wanted and what I was willing to sacrifice to get it, I decided to learn to say no.  Not a flat out no to people and then I go on about my way.  I decided to say no to myself.  I learned to tell myself no to all the distractions that I had become such an expert at creating or getting involved in.  I no longer give myself the option to get so caught up in helping someone else be creative that I deprive myself of my own creative energy.  It's easier to be creative with someone else since you share in both the applause and the possible criticism.  On your own, you have to learn to experience both and not let the first go to your head, or the latter destroy your passion.

    Until the next act,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion

    April 4, 2010

    "People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves."

    ~ Salma Hayek

    On Monday, March 22nd, I attended the forum entitled "Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion" by the Harris Center at Harvard University.  I was excited to go given that it would give me the chance to say that I was in the same room with American Fashion Designer Michael Kors, Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour and Russian Model Natalia Vodianova.  Not a bad way to start the week in my book.

    The forum started with an introduction by David B. Herzog, M.D., founder and director of the Harris Center for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital.  He gave an overview of what the panel would be discussing as well as a recap of a recent health initiative event by the Council of Fashion Designers, where he also served as moderator.  After a reference to the movie, "The Devil Wears Prada", he introduced the first speaker, Anna Wintour.

    Dressed in a champagne-colored capelet jacket with black-heeled boots and a necklace that seemed to catch every light in the room, Ms. Wintour gave us insight into the world of fashion and how the usual standards of hiring models that are extremely thin, has changed given that their health is now at risk.  She stated that Vogue is now making more of an effort to ensure that all models are of a healthy weight and mind before allowing them to be photographed and placed in the magazine.  Ms. Wintour said that part of the problem in the past has been that designers, in an effort to keep the same aesthetic from the runway to the magazines, have sent them sample sizes that have been as low as a size 0.  If you are a model that is not naturally a size 0, you can imagine the pressure they face in order to get to that size with the hopes of being in Vogue.  Vogue has made a commitment to be the leader in ensuring that going forward, that designers are more flexible in terms of what sizes they send.

    After a brief video that was sponsored by Michael Kors, he then took the stage and gave us his perspective on the current state of fashion and the eating disorders that have so long plagued some models.  He gave a heartfelt speech which included him stating that "real women are back".  One of the most memorable moments of the night involved him recalling an encounter with a young model who barely spoke English.  She was young, beautiful and the perfect designer size.  While she wore the outfit he chose for her perfectly, he could tell that something was wrong.  He said that he took her aside and in broken English, stood listening to this young girl who summoned up the courage to say that while she was happy to be in the show, she was uncomfortable being an outfit in which her nipples would be showing.  He gave her a more age appropriate outfit and said that the smile she gave when she walked out that door is still burned in his memory.  He still uses her in his current shows and always remembers that day where he as a designer had to make sure the model felt good, not just looked good.  With the end of that story, he also pledged that he no longer books models under the age of 16 given that they are still developing their sense of self and need more time to know who they are before being put in the spotlight and expected to perform.

    Next up was model Natalia Vodianova, who was also featured in the video.  She gave a heartfelt perspective of how the pressures of being a model at a young age had caused her to have a an eating disorder.  She echoed the same sentiment as Michael Kors in that no model under the age of 16 should be booked.  She also stated that when a designer notes that a model appears to be unhealthy and ultimately decides not to use her for the show, that they should also follow-up with the model's agency and alert them as to why so that they can get the model the proper help that she needs.  With the help of therapy, Natalia was able to reconcile within herself the issues that caused her to have an eating disorder.  She is now making it her mission to ensure that other models are given the help that they need and that models of all sizes are given a chance to participate in runway shows.  While well spoken, there were moments within her speech, where you couldn't help but feel that you were watching an innocent child forced to grow up before her time. 

    Once the panelists had given their speeches, there was a brief Q&A, where we as participants were given the opportunity to submit questions in advance that hopefully will be asked during the session.  One couldn't help but notice that all questions seemed to have come from high school students.  One such question was for Natalia and referred to her other women perceive her given that she is tall, beautiful and despite having children, model thin.  I loved Natalia's response where she stated that while she may be all of those things, she still has her own issues in which she struggles to deal with on a regular basis and that young girls and women need to find happiness within themselves.  I couldn't agree more.

    As I start to enter the world of modeling, I am often reminded of my own struggle with my weight.  As a young girl, I was barely over 100 lbs despite eating anything and everything in site.  I was often asked if I was anorexic, which I thought odd that even complete strangers felt the need to know.  It got to the point that I wanted to carry a certified Dr's note stating that the only thing I suffered from, was having a high metabolism.  After having two children, I found myself at weight that was more acceptable to those around me, but left me feeling uncomfortable.  I began the process of finding a healthy balance of a weight that was both physically appealing to me and healthy.  I now find myself in the position of hearing close friends and family saying that I shouldn't lose anymore weight since I don't want to look like I did before.  The only problem I have with that is that I never had an issue with my previous weight.  I think as a society, we are so quick to put our own fears and insecurities on someone else and expect them to carry that burden.  We need to instead help those that are struggling and embrace those who have embraced themselves.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • "Alright, Diallo, I'm ready for my close-up."

    March 17, 2010

    "A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety."

    ~Ansel Adams

    Bear with me for a moment as I take a quick trip down memory lane to when I was ahem "younger" and looking through magazines to see the latest fashions.  While I was always mesmerized by the clothing and amazed by the talent that the designers displayed, I couldn't help but notice that it was also the model(s) who helped bring life to the clothes.  With every design that I sketch, I'm always imagining how I would want the layout to be in a magazine.  I'm always thinking of the story I want to tell that not only highlilghts why someone should purchase my clothing, but that they are able to appreciate the details.  Part of that story involves making sure that the model can convey in pictures what cannot be conveyed in words.

    On Sunday, March 14th, I had the chance to help designers tell their story when I stepped into the role as model with Diallo Ferguson serving as the photographer.  Although I had been told before that I should model or was often assumed to be one when I was at a fashion event, modeling was something that I just avoided and admired from afar.  But since I've been on the path of trying new things and not letting my own fears stop me, I figured it was time to give it a try. 

    Despite a few setbacks such as the high wind, constant rain, change in location the day of the shoot and the task of trying to make everyone happy, my first photoshoot was fun.  Out of all the models that were there, I was a newbie.  Keeping that in mind, I took time to talk to the other models and hear about things they've done and any tips they had to offer.  We all had a chance to bond given that we were all housed in a public bathroom changing, doing each other's hair and makeup and sharing beauty products back and forth.  It was like getting ready for the prom, with a little more lifting, tucking and modesty thrown out the window.

    While in our makeshift dressing room, jewelry designer Kendall V. Bretto, CEO of Chandler Jewelry, came in to handpick models that would be wearing her custom made one of a kind jewelry.  I've seen her work in some recent runway shows and was honored when she chose me to model some of her pieces.  As a special thank you for modeling her jewelry, she presented me with a custom ring that she made on the day of the shoot.  I will post that when I'm done sketching the dress that it inspired.


    For my next look, stylist Janeen Williams of Contrast is Key, assembled a fashion forward outfit with clothing and accessories provided by MOD Boston.  This shot required me to loosen up a bit and really play it up for the camera.  Luckily music was playing in the background and with a little help from the song "Stanky Leg', I was able to let loose and make it work.

    As the day went on, I was able to find my groove and feel more comfortable creating my own poses for the camera while also taking direction from Diallo and Janeen.  Whether I was draped across a couch trying to make sure that I highlighted the jewelry and shoes that I was wearing, or sitting on a piano bench, the poses started to feel more natural and I was always happy to hear when Janeen thought a shot was hot.

    One of the best shots of the day came from something so unexpected that it at first had me questioning Diallo.  I was getting ready to leave and had put back on my rain gear which consisted of thermals, a pink sweatsuit and boots.  I had neatly tucked my hair into my hooded sweatshirt and buttoned myself up hoping to keep out as much rain as possible.  After a quick hug and high-five for doing a great job, I was turning to leave when Diallo and another model thought that taking a picture of me from the neck up would look like a high fashion pose.  I thought they were kidding and was grabbing my umbrella when they insisted that I let him take the shot.  After a few different poses, Diallo let me see the pictures and I must say that I was impressed.  Who knew that something so simple could be turned into something that makes you say "wow".  Lesson learned...that's why he's the photographer :-).

    Overall, my first photoshoot was great.  Yes, there were moments where tensions got a little high and people had to walk away while biting their tongue.  That's bound to happen when you have creative people trying to work together to complete a vision.  With that said, I met a lot of new people that are now Facebook friends as well as people I hadn't seen in a long time and was able to reconnect with. 

    With each new venture I get involved with, I learn how important it is to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.  It's easy to live in the world of "someday" and "now isn't the time".  But living in those worlds keeps you stagnant while the worlds of "why not today" and "right now" continue to not only revolve around you, but without you.  I have a lot of new projects coming up and although it will require me to learn the art of balancing family and work more than I ever had to do, I welcome the challenge since I always welcome the reward.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    "Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time"


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  • Evolution O.V.E.R.D.O.S.E.

    March 7, 2010

    "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

    ~Martin Luther King Jr.

    On Friday, February 26th, 2010, I attended the 4th annual Evolution O.V.E.R.D.O.S.E. (formerly Sensory Overload), presented by the Black Student Union of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  The event, held at Massachusett's College of Art"s Pozen Center, was a celebration of music, dance, and of course, fashion. 

    The evening began with a pre-shower mixer that included a live band.  While guests were eating and mingling, artwork of notable African-Americans hung on the walls helping to remind us all of those who came before us to make this event possible.  Guests whose attire ranged from "college campus chic" to "I'm dressed for the after party", were then ushered into the main seating area to vie for one of the more desirable seats.  We were all then treated to a live vocal performance of the National Black Anthem by Soul4yoSystem.  After an introduction of Andrew Kuforiji who would be serving as our MC for the night, the show began.

    Designer Sparkle Thames opened the show with her collection of swimwear and red, white and blue themed ready-to-wear. 

    The collection was then followed by poetry which included "I Rise" by Maya Angelou while Michael Jackson's "What About Us" played in the background and a poetic explanation behind the meaning of Evolution O.V.E.R.D.O.S.E. 

    After a ballet performance, designer Perpetual Anastasia was next with her collection of handmade jewelry.  With Maxwell's "Butterflies setting the tone, models hit the catwalk with black leotards and buttefly wings on their backs.  Unfortunately, this didn't play well in terms of letting you see the actual jewelry  The use of a larger screen that focused in on the jewelry as the models were walking would have made it easier for everyone to know that the collection was for jewelry and not for a repeat of black leotards in varying sizes and styles.

    We were then given a history of R&B starting with Earth, Wind & Fire and including artists such as Alicia Keys and Angie Stone.  After a piano solo, a student from Berklee College sang "Redemption Song" which seems to have become the staple piece for shows in which proceeds are donated to Haitain Relief efforts.  There was a bit of confusion as to whether or not we were in intermission when a few minutes had gone by and there was no activity on the runway.  Guests had begun to make the usual run for the restrooms when our MC for the night appeared to introduce a guitar duet with songs inspired by Haiti. 

    After intermission, designer Ty Scott opened his show with a model carrying a sign with the word "justice". The collection was well-received and was followed by a presentation on the History of Rap, which included a live rap performance followed by a step performance.

    For the final designer of the night, the audience was wowed by an opening featuring a man voguing in a tutu.  His performance set the tone for the Prajje Couture collection, which appeared to be a crowd favorite.  Prajje's skill in selecting the right fabric and fabricating the right cut, is a formula that always adds up to a great collection that has everyone asking where they can purchase his clothing.  He is definitely on my list of designers to watch.

    The show was a success as evidenced by the the filled to capacity seating that then became standing room only.  It is always nice to see people who are not only following their passions, but are coming together to help spotlight each other while sending a positive message that coming together and showing support for one another will always be more powerful than tearing each other down and not giving back.  The Evolution of the human spirit was on full display at this event and I look forward to attending the next one.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    "Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time"

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  • ARISE and Shine at Bryant Park

    February 14, 2010

    "Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream."

    ~ Lao Tzu

    Not too long ago, I was attempting to organize some paperwork and came across some short stories, essays and poems that I have written through the years. One of the essays that caught my attention was the one I had written to go along with my college application. I began the essay describing the scene of a fashion show. I made sure to give vivid detail in order to have the reader feel like they were actually there when they closed their eyes and let the words penetrate their imagination. Tonight, I felt like I was seeing my essay come to life.

    The scene was set at Bryant Park in New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, under a tent filled with people from all walks of life with one common thread amongst us all...the love of fashion. It's amazing how when something you dreamed about since you were a little girl comes to life and the overwhelming emotion that takes over you. Driving in the car, I was excited, but calm. The closer we got, my heart started to beat faster and my mind started to race. Walking through the entrance, I felt like my knees were going to buckle leaving me to depend on my killer six inch heels for support.

    Once inside, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I barely noticed the cars that were on display. My attention was being diverted to the outfits that people chose to wear. Anyone can wear clothes, but it takes a certain skill to be able to add your personal stamp to it and own it. Being able to see the confidence that these people had made me realize that I need to branch out a little more when it comes to dressing. Time to shake things up a bit :-)

    With only a few minutes before we were to be ushered inside to take our seats, my business partner and the man working magic behind the camera, Diallo Ferguson, left to take his position in order to record the show. Oh, did I mention that I'm now a Fashion Correspondent for "A Passion 4 Fashion". It's still in the early stages, but given what we were able to accomplish at our first event, the best is yet to come!

    After some more "you look fabulous", we were ushered past a crowd and led into where the ARISE Magazine African Collective Fashion Show would take place. One woman I met was so overwhelmed, that she began to cry. It was endearing to see that I wasn't the only one who was filled with emotion. After what seemed an eternity, the lights dimmed and music began pouring through the speakers. It was a hypnotic blend of drums and voices calling out to the heavens.

    And then the spotlights came on and models for Black Coffee put their stamp on the runway adorned in quilted coats that while oversized, looked like they could be worn by anyone. Immediately following their collection, Loin Cloth & Ashes took the stage and showed us that a little splash of color is sometimes the accessory that seems to just complete an outfit. And for the finale, designer Deola Sagoe had the crowd jumping to its feet to celebrate her collection that included pieces with strong silhouettes, beading and fraying. At one point, the models were so in sync with the heavy beating of the drums, that it felt like the crowd would explode from the intensity.

    The models made one more go on the runway as the finale. With the last model safely tucked backstage, the rush to the runway began with everyone either trying to accidentally bump into the celebrity that they have been eyeing during the show, or just trying to exit and head to the after party.

    As part of my new endeavor as Fashion Correspondent, I was rushing to interview Boston-based designer Prajje Jean-Baptiste of Prajje Couture, to get his views on the show. Standing on the steps outside the tent with a mic in my hand and the wind trying to become my best friend, I gave my first interview and loved every minute of it. Videos and tons of pictures will be posted soon, so stay tuned for that.

    With more shows to cover and more designers to interview, this trip is only the beginning of more things to come.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    "Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time"

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  • A "Precious" Attitude

    December 15, 2009

    The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace from that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing that we can do is play on the one string that we have and this string is, Attitude. I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. And so it is with you....We are in charge of our Attitudes.

    -- Charles Swindoll

    Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like everything is falling into place and all the signs that you've prayed for seem to be flashing so bright, that you would have to be blind not to notice them? It seems like I have been having those a lot lately.

    Not too long ago, I purchased an audio book (I have a long commute, so I figured this would help the drive as well as help me gain some insight) called Steering by Starlight by Martha Beck. When I first listened to the Cd's, it was more of a slight shake in terms of wanting to find my true destiny. The second time I listened to them, it was like an elephant standing in the room who kept staring at me wondering when I was going to make a move. I am currently listening to them now and it has now become the slap in the face when you realize that something that you've been looking for has been right there in front of you all along.

    While the Cd's have been helpful in terms of slapping me around a bit, it's been other things along the way that have also helped me to find that inner voice that I seem to have gotten so good at ignoring. After seeing the movie "Precious" a couple of weeks ago, I started to feel guilty for every moment of self-pity I have ever had. While I know we're all entitled to our moments of "woe is me", seeing that movie made me realize that it's up to me whether or not I want to be a victim or a victor.

    It's easy to let your thoughts get the best of you and let fear take center stage. It's funny to me when I realize how many things I've missed out on because I was too scared to take a chance or worried about failing. The sad thing is that I've failed simply by not doing them. I'm not saying I'm about to jump out of airplanes or buying a snake as a pet to prove I'm strong, just that I'm learning to let go of fearing the unknown.

    I recently attended an event and usually I'm always looking for someone to go and for the first time, I just purchased the tickets and went by myself. Now, I wasn't completely fearless since a friend of mine ended up attending the second portion of the event, but it was still different for me to just drive, park and show up by myself. I even got up the nerve to talk to people I didn't know :-) All joking aside, it's little things like this that add up to me shaking things up and not letting fear take control.

    Now my next task is to release the fear of putting myself out there and starting my clothing line. With the help of a friend, I came up with a great name for the first collection which goes along perfectly with where I am right now. I just need to take the time to let the ideas out of my head and put them on paper so I can start having them made.

    I know once I change my attitude about myself and my abilities, that the possibilities are endless. Maybe I need to get an attitude with myself for not having a fearless attitude...or maybe I'll just remember the movie "Precious" and how my attitude was before I saw the movie and how it was after. Having a "Precious" Attitude towards life will definitely keep me focused on what's important and learning to let the other stuff fall to the side instead of blocking my path.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time...and with a new attitude to boot)

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  • Why Facebook and Business Networking Go Hand in Hand

    December 3, 2009

    Why Facebook and Business Networking Go Hand in Hand

    Posted using ShareThis

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  • The Power of Words and the Strength of Actions

    November 9, 2009

    "Do not wait; the time will never be "just right". Start where you are and work with whatever tools you may have in your command, and better tools will be found as you go along."

    ~Napoleon Hill

    So once again, it has been awhile since I have posted to my blog and rather than give my usual apologies and fall into the trap of possibly not posting again for awhile, I will instead say that I have seen the errors of my ways and will work to be more diligent about posting.

    It's amazing how powerful words can be in helping you to overcome obstacles, refocus on what's important, or see something that you weren't able to see while you were living your life. I have always been a fond believer of writing down how you feel which is why I started this blog in the first place. I wanted this to be my place of refuge where I could write down the fears that I have when it comes to pursuing my dreams, the accomplishments I make when I let go of that fear and take a chance, and the setbacks that I might experience along the way.

    That being said, I always felt that whatever I wrote had to be perfect. It had to have this profound feeling to it in order for me to feel that the message had been conveyed the way I thought it should be. Having the mentality that it had to be "perfect" has prevented me from posting some stuff that I now realize is amazing just because it came from my thoughts and how I feel about certain things. Waiting around for things to be perfect and for me to have accomplished a certain thing only leads to these long gaps between my posts. I can't expect people to support and encourage me when I'm not giving them insight as to where I'm at in the process.

    While looking to purchase my home, one of my main requests was to have a space that I could solely dedicate as an office/sewing space. While I would have loved a large space, the space in the house I ended up purchasing wasn't big, but I knew that it had potential. Unfortunately, it became the catch all room for when other rooms were being utilized or when company was coming over and I could just close the door and pretend it didn't exist.

    Yesterday I sat in that room and saw that not only was I cluttering up a room with unnecessary items, I was also blocking the one place where my creativity was supposed to be allowed to explore and not be held back. I've been debating on what paint color to choose to the point that there is no paint on the wall. I've been deciding on the perfect desk to get to the point that my sewing machine is still in it's carrying case and the folding table has become a second make shift catch all space. I went to Ikea yesterday in an attempt to purchase a desk and while I saw a couple of nice ones, my mind kept going back to the clutter that was already in the office, which made it harder to imagine anything in there.

    So the plan for this week is to tackle the office head on. A place for everything and everything in it's place. Once that is done, I will decide on a paint color, purchase the paint and put it on the walls rather than having it sit in the can staring back at me whenever I walk by. After that, I'll be able to see how much space I have to work with so I can take measurements and decide what I need to purchase in order to make the space more efficient. Instead of waiting around for me to have the perfect office, I will create a space that works perfect for what I need it to do now to get me started back at designing, sewing and writing.

    I'm also going to revamp my vision board to reflect more of who I am and where I want to be. The first one was great in helping me get started in thinking about how I wanted my life to be, but the new one will be more focused on enjoying what I currently have while building up to the other things I want. I also need to make sure it is put in a proper place on the wall so I can see it everyday and internalize what it represents.

    The power of your words helps you remember the power that you possess within as well. They remind you that while you may lose focus sometimes, you can always find your way back and be stronger and more determined than you were before. The power of my words along with the strength of my actions will help me get to where I am meant to be.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • The Perception of Passion

    October 12, 2009

    "Passion - There are qualities which one must possess to
    win...definiteness of purpose, knowledge of what one wants, and a
    burning desire to posses it.

    I recently received a housewarming gift that had these words at the bottom. Without knowing it, the person who gave it to me struck a chord. The picture combined with the words proved to be quite overwhelming to me. It affirmed that the passion I have both spoken and unspoken is exuding out of me to the point that others are able to see it and believe in it. It's one thing to find your passion and pursue it, but to have those around you feel the passion and encourage it is saying something.

    To me it says that you not only have to have passion, but you must believe in it to the point that when others see you, they see the aura of your passion as well. The sheer mention of your passion delights you to the point that people you encounter begin searching for what their passion is in order to reach that same feeling.

    To have passion is to view the world as an adventure rather than a chore. You wake up with a renewed spirit ready to seize the day, not just the moment. Passion helps you recover quicker when you're sick in fear that you're missing out on doing something that you love. Passion makes sure that you're never alone. It is the invisible partner that will stand beside you to coach you, take your hand to help you move forward, and stand behind you to help you when you feel like standing
    still.

    Once you let your passion have a voice, it will not let you stifle it without putting up a fight. Ignoring your passion is equivalent to losing a piece of what makes up who you are. Little by little, not having passion begins to eat away at your core and you find yourself at battle trying to figure out why you're not happy.

    Passion may not at first pay you financially, but the emotional rewards you reap far exceed any monetary value you place on it. Passion in its truest form will not expect anything more than what it knows you need, want and are capable of doing. While doubt and fear may try to overcome your thoughts, staying true to your passion will help you see the fear and doubt, acknowledge it for what it is and move on.

    Find your passion, change your thoughts and your perception of life will amaze you. The perception of passion, what a great and wonderful thing to view in all it's glory.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • Imagine That

    October 6, 2009

    "We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly"

    -Shakti Gawain

    As far back as I can remember, one of the things that I use to think about most was growing up to become a fashion designer. I believed it to be true with every fiber of my being and expected to be successful. What I didn't imagine, was that life would somehow find a way to intervene and put obstacles in my way. What I believed to be obstacles at the time, I now view as things that happened to prepare me for the skills it would take to not only dream, but to be able to take action.

    Not too long ago, I put together a vision board. I had been hearing the term for quite some time and thought it would be fun to try. It's amazing what you go through trying to figure out what truly matters to you most and what makes you happy. My vision board included both pictures and words to describe what makes me move, have passion and take pause. Completing the vision board allowed me to say out loud who I am now and where I want to be in the future. I have left some open space on the board since I know that I am always finding new things that excite me and would like to add them to the board.

    One of the first things that came to fruition after completing the board, was the purchase of my first home. The home I have on the board was of my dream home, which while it may not look like the house I'm in now, it is the beginning of what is to come. I can look at the board every day and know that if I continue to work hard and stay focused, that someday, the house on the board, will be the house that I build. The board also gave me the freedom to say that no matter how hard people say it's going to be or how scared I get, that I have to follow my dream of becoming a fashion designer and to someday own my own boutique. I know that life will find a way to intervene, but I will find a way to overcome.

    I've started attending fashion events and making connections that help to invigorate me and find my way back to the creativity I pushed aside. I now eagerly await the arrival of every fashion magazine that I've subscribed to so that I can flip through the pages and marvel at what fashion is truly all about. To me, fashion is about expressing yourself through the use of fabric formed together to create pieces that are a reflection of what art is to you. It's a way of letting your creative ideas wander around like like walking pieces of art.

    My passion lies in designing dresses. While I can draw other things, my hand naturally wants to create a stunning masterpiece that wows the crowd. I've tried to fight it telling myself that dresses are too hard of a market, but I can't deny that it's where my natural talent lies. So intead of working against it, I will find a way to work with it. If there are no events that warrant someone to wear my dresses, then I will create an event. No longer will I tell myself no when I haven't fully exhausted all other options.

    I feel like I did when I was younger. Letting my imagination run wild and not setting limits has opened up the floodgates of creativity for me and the sheer excitement alone is enough to have me floating on a cloud. The thought of being able to draw and sew has made the days more joyful than they already were. My sons love to watch as I take a blank piece of paper and add life to it. I love to see their eyes sparkle with admiration to see their Mother doing something that she loves. It's an indescribable feeling.

    In order to attract what I want, I now think it, believe it, expect it and imagine it as often as I want and need to. Imagine that!

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • "If I should die before I wake"...

    September 12, 2009

    I pray that I will have lived a life filled with love, happiness and passion. I pray that I will not have wasted precious time worrying about what if and more time asking why not.

    The best gift other than life itself, is to enjoy it. There will always be bills that need to be paid, people who are negative and want to bring you to their level and obstacles that test your strength and will. But with that also comes the ability to live within your means and still have abundance, positive people who always lift you out of the darkness and paths that appear once you've climbed, jumped and hurdled your way past things that stand in your way.

    I want to live a life that causes the deepest wrinkles when I'm older. They will be the sign of all the laughs that I have shared and all the times I said yes without letting fear get the best of me.

    I haven't experienced the loss of someone since I was 13. That changed this week with the passing of my Father's wife. It was an experience that has rocked me to the core. For the longest time, I have lived in fear of death. It is a finale that I could never come to terms with...until now. With her passing, I saw firsthand how each day is not promised to you. You can't put things off in hopes that you will get to it another time.

    I want my sons to be able to miss me, but also smile at the thought that I lived the life that made me wake up and go to sleep with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I tell them to reach for the stars and yet I myself have stopped reaching. I've put up this imaginary hand that taps me everytime I begin to attempt to reach. It sounds silly, but it's true.

    I have become paralyzed by fear and it is slowly crushing my spirit. I am slowly forgetting what it feels like to be so passionate about something, that you only see your goal and no one can penetrate that feeling. That is not how I want to be remembered.

    I want to experience as much as I can and enjoy the little things just as much as the big things. I don't want to stand aside and let others take the stage. It's up to me to set, follow and determine my destiny.

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  • Me, Myself and the House

    July 1, 2009

    "We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly"

    -Shakti Gawain

    Of all the quotes I read on a daily basis, this one would be the one to have burned into my heart and mind during this period of my life. While this blog is supposed to chronicle my ups and downs with launching a clothing line, I feel that it also needs to chronicle the personal struggles I overcome aside from that passion.

    Currently, my energy has been focused on purchasing my first home. It has been a dream of mine to own a home for quite some time and up until recently, it always seemed out of my reach. While I thought I planned everything out and worked every possible angle (the control freak in me loves doing this part), I didn't plan for the "what if none of your planning and preparation works out" alternative.

    I found a house that I like. I can't say love since saying that means it's the house that I have posted on my vision board and this house is just a couple of thousand feet off to meet that requirement. I like the house because it's in a great location and mostly because my sons love it. It's just enough house for the three of us and has extra space for me to sew and for them to have a game room outside of their bedroom.

    For the first time ever, I would actually have a dining room that could fit a large table for my friends and family since I do like to entertain...spaciously if possible. The yard is a great size and has so much potential, that I have to stop myself from committing every landscape picture I see to memory before I run out of mental space.

    The whole house has been renovated which means I can just paint certain walls, move in and start living in our new home. I thought I wanted a house that needed renovations until I took a long look at the way our current schedules are and realized that I just wouldn't have the time or the patience to fix up a house.

    I'm posting this because in the process of pursuiing my passion for owning a home, I have suspended the passion for fashion design and it concerns me. I worry that I'll move in and may be consumed with fixing up the house the way I want and will somehow never find time to stop and focus on the other things I love. I have this tendency to become so focused on something that I block out other things in order to see that one task to completion with the best possible result. The problem with that is that I somehow lose myself in the process. I back away from something that brings me joy in order to fix and get rid of what's bringing me pain at the time.

    I'm not sure how to find the balance of tackling projects as they come while staying focused on a long term goal. I love the satisfaction that comes with getting things done right away, but I know I need to learn that things take time. I didn't just start wanting a house a month ago. I've wanted one since I was younger and it has taken quite some time for me to get to this point. I need to find a way to make sure I make time for things that may not give me instant satisfaction, but will provide me with the happiness I need to just enjoy life in general.

    My first step in cleaning my mind of all the chaos is to clean my house. I've watched enough episdes of Clean House and HGTV to know that when your house is cluttered, your mind is cluttered. So, I'm going to do something that I've always thought about doing but wasn't sure how to make it work. It's time for me to have a "Mama Needs a New House" yard sale. Just the thought of all the things I could sell or give away excites me because I know that it will result in less clutter in my house.

    These next couple of months are going to continue to be a roller-coaster ride of emotions for me, but for the first time, I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to beating myself up about getting things multiple things done and not letting one sole project consume all of my time and energy. This house represents a lot of accomplishments for me, but I can't let it be the sole one for this year. This is the year that I will look back on and just say "Wow"...that was amazing!

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • Learning to Live in the Present

    May 31, 2009

    First, I'd like to apologize for those people who loyally follow me on this blog and to those who stop by to read. I am disappointed that I never even took the time to post at least once during the month of May. That goes to show how much this post is really needed.

    In a quest to keep a promise to my boys of buying a house of our own this year, I have become somewhat obsessed about it, which has caused me to lose focus on other things of importance. I have let other things go with the mindset that once we move into our house, that I would be able to focus on them again. I now realize how silly that train of thought has been given that there will always be other things that will come up and I have to learn to just make it fit around my other priorities.

    One of my main priorities regardless of when I purchase a home, is to get our current home organized. Everything that I have read always seems to point back to the fact that a cluttered house equals a cluttered mind and I couldn't agree with that more. If I don't get things organized now and implement a regular system of keeping things organized, then I will ultimately bring this same clutter to our next place, which would start the viscious cycle over again.

    I use to think that being a procrastinator was okay as long as I was able to get things done and produce the same results as if I had done it right away. Unfortunately, procrastination gives room for the unexpected things that always come up, to have a field day and wreck even more havoc on an otherwise simple situation.

    I went to a first-time homebuyer's class yesterday and they also had people who were trying to save their home in attendance. It was heartbreaking to hear the stories of people who worked hard to attain the American Dream, only to find out that they had been misled and now might lose their home. But as heartbreaking as it was, not one of them seemed to have the outlook that this was the end for them. They knew where they went wrong and just wanted someone to point them in the right direction so they could keep moving forward. I found it both eye-opening and inspirational. These people tried something and it didn't work out, but yet they didn't let it beat them or define who they are. They made my pity-parties I've been having lately seem more pathetic than what I suspected they already were.

    All my life I've been waiting for things to be as close to perfect for me to try new things. No matter what the situation, I have always managed to convince myself why that particular moment wasn't the right one in order for me to move ahead. Well, it's a new day and I'm tired of hoping that the future will bring better results in order to make the present more liveable. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so living as if tomorrow will come around and be better, only makes you comfortable in the present which means you will never take risks that are sometimes necessary to move you closer to where you are meant to be.

    This all being said, I will not only start living in the present, I will now do things that make the present day what I want it to be. Besides my passion for designing, I have always had a love for dance. When I was younger, I had my heart set on taking dance lessons, but the costs couldn't be justified. Over the years, I would fondly remember the times that my sister and I would make up dances to songs and brush it off as just something we did to pass the time away. It has only been recently that I have realized how much I really want to pursue dancing, but again, I let my own fears and doubts creep in and prevent me from pursuing it.

    Yesterday, I got over that fear and picked up the phone to set up a dance lesson. They'll teach me a variety of ballroom dances and then my instructor and I will figure out where my true passion is. I already have an idea, but we'll see if his insight matches my vision. I've also decided to stop depending on whether or not I'm able to make it to my sewing lesson as the determining factor of whether or not I sew on a regular basis. I took lessons starting in Jr. High through High Shcool and always had a love for it. I know I'm a little rusty, but that's what practice is for.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • A game of Tug and War

    April 11, 2009

    I started this blog as a means to expressing my journey to launching a successful clothing line while working a full time job and raising two intelligent and loving boys that I am proud to call my sons.

    It has now become an accountability that my friends and family have begun to hold me to. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't ask me when I'm going to make my next post. I have been in a creative funk lately which has led to me putting off a lot of things, my blog being one of them.

    This past Saturday I took a sewing lesson with someone I admire and am aspiring to mimick talent-wise. It was a great lesson in that it reminded me of how much I love to sew and how relaxing it is for me (even if my attempts at following the circular lines were a bit off). The hours flew by like minutes and before I knew it, I had been there for 4 hours. This lesson reaffirmed the saying of "Do what you love, and the money will come". My current problem is that I have so many ideas, that my own brain has somewhat paralyzed me from being able to do just do something. I spend too much time thinking about what should be the first product, that I now find myself with no product at all. this is far from what I envisioned when I decided to pursue the clothing line with all the passion that I have been suppressing for some time now.

    So now I'm left with the task of trying to ignore the part of me that likes to plan every single detail and give the creative side of me the chance to prove that it has everything under control. How do you find a balance of being creative while sensible and sensible but flexible? This lack of balance has begun to affect my sleep, so I know I need to figure it out and soon before I'm too exhausted to think or be creative.

    Who knew that being creative would be both a gift and a curse? I know I'm not the first person to go through this and that wallowing in pity only delays the process even further. Somewhere inside me lies the answer, I just have to figure out whether or not my creative or sensible side will be the one to find it.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • Overcoming "Me"

    March 29, 2009

    "History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats".

    B. C. Forbes

    I had both a good and bad day today. Since this blog's purpose is to mainly focus on my triumphs regarding the startup of my clothing line, I will not go into detail regarding my personal life. What I will say is that the bad part of my day left such a sour taste in my mouth, that it has made me realize that no matter how hard you try to make everyone happy, there will always be someone who will do their best to try and bring you down to their level.

    As painful as it is, I have to start believing in the advice that I give to my own sons. "No matter who you are as a person, someone will like you for who you are, and someone will not like you for who you are, so don't change". As always, it's been easier to give than to live. Unfortunately, I will have to make this my mantra if I'm ever going to be able to fully put myself out there for other people to judge my designs. My quest for perfection while not being criticized has backed me into a corner that I no longer want to call home.

    I no longer want to conform to what I think will make everyone else happy. That way of life has crippled me and I no longer want to be a victim. I have too much talent to let it just sit idle. I have goals in life that don't involve me wallowing in self-pity. I have already accomplished so many of my goals that for me to think that I will be anything less but successful at this, is an insult to all of my planning.

    I need to start viewing obstacles as things that are preparing me to be more prepared for the next step. Of course there will be moments where everything falls into place and life seems like it just coudn't get any better. But, there will also be times when I will wonder what went wrong so fast. I just have to be ready to bask in the sunlight of my accomplishments and face the heat of my mistakes. I'm ready for both.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • Fabrics, Buttons and Thread, Oh My!

    March 17, 2009

    "The sad truth is that opportunity doesn't knock twice. You can put things off until tomorrow but tomorrow may never come. Where will you be a few years down the line. Will it be everything you dreamed of. We seal our fate with the choices we take, but don't give a second thought to the chances we take".

    ~ Gloria Estefan

    This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of doing something I haven't done in awhile. I not only went to a fabric store, but I also purchased two bolts of fabric that were so full of color and life, that they inspired me to draw again. I forgot how fun it is to try to recreate fabric through the use of markers. I got so involved with trying to match the fabric perfectly, they I went past my goal of spending a hour in my sewing studio. Luckily I have a great supporter in my boyfriend who cooked dinner while I designed.

    Here is a draft of the sketch that I just couldn't walk away from:


    One thing that allowed me to just draw was the fact that I didn't beat myself up for not making sure my hands, feet and face were perfect on the figure. I can remember being in my Fashion Illustration class and getting frustrated by the details of everything other than the design that I was trying to transfer from my head to the paper. I recently came across some Fashion Croquis that I will use to make sure my portfolio looks more professional, but the design itself will be what most of my focus is on.

    It's amazing the feeling you get when you allow yourself to do what you do best and find resources to help you with those things that aren't within your skill set. I had been putting off going into my sewing studio because I felt like I wasn't ready. I felt like I had to know how to sew like an expert and draw like an experienced artist. Once I let go of my own limitations and realized that what I know today will help me know more tomorrow, I was able to just do what felt natural.

    I know that I'm a little rusty since I haven't given Fashion Design the same attention as I do everything else, but I also know that my passion and desire to succeed are so deeply embedded in me, that I have to just do something. There will never be a perfect time, just the time that I dedicate to it.

    This is my time to take a chance and create my own moment of Aha!

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • Survey Says

    March 10, 2009

    In an effort to keep moving forward and in the right direction, I have come up with a survey to help me get a better idea of what people are looking for in terms of clothing. Please visit the following link My Fashion Style to complete the survey.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • Me vs. the Machine

    February 26, 2009

    "Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune".

    -- Jim Rohn: Entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker

    I was recently sent this quote and could not shake the feeling that it came to me at just the right time. It's funny how you find ways to find the meaning behind even the simplest things when you're searching for answers.

    I have been battling for some time with the struggle of going to school for Business while actively pursuing my goal of becoming an established Fashion Designer. It's a hard blow when you finally do the math and realize that they really aren't enough hours in the day for you to accomplish all that you want without something else being sacrificed. That something that feels like its being sacrificed is more quality time with my boys.

    I always find time to do the routine things with them such as being chauffeur, chef, and fixer of all things at the last minute, but those things don't bond us, so much as they are what needs to be done. It's the moments of sitting on the couch and watching a movie together or going to the park that brings us closer. Those unexpected moments of hugs and "I love you" that you didn't have to initiate. I not only cherish those, but need to make more of an effort to provide the opportunity for them to happen.

    So while I may battle with how to fit in time to do all the things I would like to do, there are some things that are non-negotiable and some that I have control over. I value the need for education, but also feel that there are those that soak up knowledge by living what they want to be. I want to be a Fashion Designer and yet I spend more time traveling down paths that only lead me back to where I started. All roads lead to me knowing what I wanted all along. I realize now that I let fear rule me with an iron fist and that my creativity was set aside and viewed as more of a hobby than a need.

    I need fashion. I need the feel of fabrics in my hands, a sewing pedal at my foot and a desire to let my creativity take whatever shape or form that it chooses. I need to stop trying to "be" and just being. I need to believe in my own ability to pick and choose what roads I will travel going forward. There are some that I will take that will be scenic, smooth and have all the proper signs to tell me when and where to turn and how much farther to the next stop. And there will be some that will be bumpy, overcrowded and misleading. I know that I will be taking a risk by choosing to make my own map, but it's one that I've steered clear from for far too long.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • C’mon, Ride It...The Great Brazil Express

    February 25, 2009

    C’mon, Ride It

    I came across this great travel opportunity and wanted to share it. I will have to add this to my vision board of something I would like to enjoy some day.

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  • I just want to draw!

    February 11, 2009

    Between talks with a graphic designer, a lawyer, online school, work and my most important job of being a mother to two boys, drawing has seem to have taken a back seat.

    The creative part of me just wants to sit and draw and let my hands translate for my imagination. The business part of me understands that you have to be patient and make sure you protect yourself as well as your ideas.

    Right now I'm trying to find the balance of the two.  I want to be able to share my ideas, but I also want to make sure that I'm given credit for what I've worked so hard for.

    So for now, I let my ideas dance around my head and onto the pages of my "Big Black Book of Ideas" until they are able to take the stage.

    Finding balance always seems to be a resounding theme these days.  Everyone wants to have it all without having to sacrifice too much.  I'm guilty of that as well.  I want everything to fall into place since I can't find time to manage too many interruptions. If it were only up to me, I wouldn't have to worry about that, but unfortunately, life always has it's own plans and I have to fnd a way to either roll with the punches, or duck faster.  :-)

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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  • Where it all began

    February 6, 2009

    I can remember as a little girl anxiously waiting for the Miss America pageant to start on TV. While others watched to find out who would be crowned with the coveted title, I watched to see what dresses the contestants would wear. I admired the way the dresses fit and the intricate detail that was added to make a particular dress stand out from the rest. With each dress that came on stage, I became more and more mesmerized. It was then that I realized that I wanted to become a fashion designer.

    With that realization came the many designs that I would sketch out on whatever piece of paper I could get my hands on. I also managed to take over control of my mother's sewing machine to make some dresses for my dolls out of cut up socks (which make the best fitted dresses for dolls).

    Through the years, I have gotten sidetracked and walked down different paths, but they all seem to lead me right back to my passion of becoming a fashion designer. So, I decided that I was going to get out of my own way and not only pursue my dream, but stay focused and committed into turning it into a reality.

    This blog will chronicle what steps I take forward as well as some that I may take backwards. Please check often and comment, especially if you notice that I haven't updated the blog in awhile. I have set a goal of writing down one thing a day that I have done to make myself better and keeping this blog updated on a regular basis helps to fulfill that requirement.

    Sincerely,

    Ebony
    (Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)

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